Hall of Fame trainer Mark Casse has won five Breeders’ Cup events, a Preakness (G1), and a Belmont Stakes (G1) during his decorated career. And while the Kentucky Derby (G1) is still missing from his resume, it appears Laker Mamba has the pedigree and potential to give Casse a shot at winning the 2021 “Run for the Roses.”

Laker Mamba Pedigree
Uncle Mo
Nyquist
Seeking Gabrielle
Laker Mamba
Unbridled’s Song
Disturbingly Hot
Diablo’s Blend

Certainly Laker Mamba’s immediate ancestors bring classic talent and breeding to the table. The gray colt is a son of Nyquist, the champion 2-year-old male of 2015. A five-time Grade 1 winner, Nyquist trained on as a 3-year-old to score a comfortable victory in the 2016 Kentucky Derby, displaying stamina alongside his abundant tactical speed.

Nyquist himself is a son of champion 2-year-old Uncle Mo, an acclaimed sire whose progeny tend to excel running long on both dirt and turf. It’s safe to say Nyquist is following Uncle Mo’s example, since his first crop of foals includes Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Fillies (G1) winner Vequist and Summer S. (G1) winner Gretzky the Great, both elite performers racing a mile or farther.

The dam side of Laker Mamba’s pedigree likewise leans toward stamina over speed. While dam Disturbingly Hot wasn’t particularly remarkable as a racehorse, her three career victories (against maiden special weight and allowance company) all came running a mile or farther. Her three previous foals to race have displayed similar tendencies; all have won running a mile or farther, including Gotta Go, who defeated future Preakness runner-up Bravazo in the 2017 Street Sense S. at Churchill Downs.

Disturbingly Hot’s long-winded genetics can be attributed at least in part to her sire, Unbridled’s Song, a son of 1990 Kentucky Derby winner Unbridled. His most successful foals excelled almost exclusively racing a mile or farther, led by Breeders’ Cup winners and/or Eclipse Award champions Arrogate, Will Take Charge, Forever Unbridled, Unrivaled Belle, Liam’s Map, Midshipman, and Unbridled Forever.

Although Unbridled’s Song died in 2013, he continues to pass on stamina as a broodmare sire. His daughters have produced a bevy of Grade 1 winners over a mile or farther, led by Japanese Triple Crown winner Contrail, Japan Cup (G1) winner Suave Richard, and Breeders’ Cup Mile (G1) winner Tourist.

If there’s one surprising trend emerging from Unbridled’s Song’s record as a broodmare sire, it’s the fact many of his descendants are thriving on turf. Unbridled’s Song himself was a tried-and-true dirt campaigner, winning the Breeders’ Cup Juvenile (G1), and his own progeny have shown similar proclivities.

Throw in the fact Nyquist (and Uncle Mo) have proven capable of siring Grade 1 winners on both dirt and turf, and it seems reasonable to conclude Laker Mamba has the potential to excel over both surfaces. We’ll have to wait and see if he ultimately shows a preference for one over the other, but in the meantime, we won’t have to worry about Laker Mamba’s ability to handle classic distances. Racing 1 1/4 miles on the first Saturday in May should be right up his alley.